Sunday, 9 April 2017

Life (2017)

Life (2017 film).png
As we know it

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Running Time: 103 Minutes
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya

On-board the International Space Station, a six member crew successfully capture a space probe, returning from Mars with a soil sample. Attempting to provide the first evidence of extraterrestrial life, the crew study the sample, and are able to revive the organism. It quickly grows, but as the crew conduct their research, the life form becomes hostile.

It's unfortunate for director Daniel Espinosa, as the on-screen product fails to set itself apart from other genre entries. In spite of some decent thrills, what's on-screen has already been done better in other films. The obvious choice is Ridley Scott's classic, Alien, while the opening tracking shot, as well as other scenes, feels too familiar to Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity.

Image result for life 2017 film wordpressHowever few original ideas are in the film, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick's script contains fewer fleshed out characters. The majority of them get one character trait, be it Ryan Reynolds being quippy, Hiroyuki Sanada being a father, and Rebecca Ferguson being the Quarantine officer. The closest we get is Jake Gyllenhaal, whose character prefers to remain in space, having seen the horrors of humanity after being in the army. Though, it must be said that the cast do greatly in their roles.

A horror film can live and die on its antagonist, and we do get a decently designed adversary in Calvin, the alien life form (named by a selected child on Earth). He carries a great deal of intelligence and strength, brought alive by decent CGI, and a visual look that isn't too derivative.

The unfortunate faults of Life are too easy to point out, and not so easy to overcome. From its inability to set itself apart in the genre, to the unmemorable characters, the high points of the film feel unfortunately wasted.

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